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Monday, 30 April 2012

DWP Performance Related Pay (Ho Ho)

We are all in it together and one of the “contributions” from the public sector is supposedly through pay restraint.  Interesting to note though that at least some civil servants in DWP can still receive performance related bonuses.  I have been trying through FoI requests to find out quite how this works.
It was not too difficult to establish that one senior individual received their maximum bonus entitlement of £15,000 in one recent year, but it has been impossible to find out what they did to deserve it – although disclosing the former falls within the Act, the latter does not.  Being maximum bonus, performance must have been astonishing and something one would want to brag about surely.
I think that the only logical conclusion to draw is that it was actually nothing of any consequence.  The request has specifically confirmed that there is no requirement at all for bonus payments to be in any way self-funding - clearly something for nothing.
So much for the pay freeze and yet again so much for all being in it together

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Pasties vs. Caviar.

Yes, there is an odd dilemma. 
Fish & chips carry VAT, so why not a pasty?  Yup, I get that.
Caviar is expensive and bought by rich people, so why not tax it?  Yup, I get that too.
But we don’t want to tax all food and however you split VATable from non-VATable, there will always be anomalies, so you have to make a choice and take it on the chin from the people you upset.  So Mr Cameron realised he could not keep everyone happy.
What I object to is that whenever a choice like this arises, he always falls the same way and decides to upset the generally weaker, easier targets that have less influence.  This is why we are clearly not all in it (equally) together.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Compromise Agreements - a new meaning???

We all know there is a contract between employer and employee with which both are expected to comply.  We all know how this offers some security to the employee (setting aside the misconceived and wretched “Cameron’s Employers’ Charter”).  The contract does not mean an employer cannot ditch an employee outside of the terms of the contract, it just means they have to pay, perhaps heavily, for the privilege.  In return, the employee willingly agrees to waive their legal rights.  This is what a Compromise Agreement is all about.
I guess in fairness there is a reverse scenario, where an employee compensates their employer for an early exit, but outside of footballer transfers, I have not come across one.
What we have here is an employee who wants to leave quickly and an employer PAYING them to do so, when they could be claiming compensation.  This is absurd and if true is one of the worst examples I have seen of the public sector losing complete touch with reality, common sense and the commercial world in general.  It is not their money to do with as they wish and such self-serving profligacy is tantamount to treason.
Of course quite right it is nipped in the bud, but all those around her who agreed to it must be brought to account too - they simply do not have our authority to do this sort of thing.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Are Accountants no better than Bankers???

Are Accountants no better than Bankers???

I must be dim.  It seems that companies can reduce tax liability through dodgy charitable donations and make a net gain overall.  The "charity" may in fact not exist and if it does, it might only receive a fraction of the original donation. 

Every limited company has to have its accounts audited each year by a suitably qualified accountant.  These experts are highly trained and at the top of their profession and can supposedly be trusted.  Aren't they meant to detect this sort of thing?  Aren't they legal liable if they do not?